In collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions

On this cruise, PONANT invites you to discover New Caledonia, a world’s end French territory located right in the middle of the South Pacific. A 11-day expedition cruise, with an emphasis on the idyllic lagoons of the Kanak culture.

You will board Le Soléal in Noumea and your ship will first take you to Kouaré Island which will reveal you all its beauty and the richness of its seabed.

You will then be dazzled by the islands of Maré and Lifou and their picture-postcard landscapes of white-sand beaches and tropical vegetation, before discovering further north Hienghène, the cradle of Kanak culture. Its magnificent black limestone cliffs, its steep landscapes and the incredible biodiversity of the coral seabed in its lagoon, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, make the reputation of this emblematic region of New Caledonia.

You will call at the Australian island of Norfolk whose deserted beaches line the magnificent Emily Bay Lagoon.

In the far north of the New Zealand archipelago, you will fall under the charm of the Bay of Islands, where you will be able attend a Maori ceremony.

Your cruise will end in Auckland. This New Zealand city bordered by two seas will surprise you with its modernity and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Highlights


• A cruise in collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.

• A cruise to explore the diversity of New Caledonia, from the world’s most beautiful shores to cultural discoveries.

• Shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

• UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the lagoons of New-Caledonia from Hienghène in the north.

• Exploration of the Loyalty Islands archipelago: Maré’s unspoilt landscapes and Lifou’s exceptional marine life.

• Visit Hienghène, with its black limestone cliffs and known as a biodiversity ‘hotspot’.

• Explore the history and culture of Norfolk Island.

• Discover the art and traditions of the rich and varied Kanak culture.

Perched on a peninsula between bays and hills, on the south-west coast of Grande Terre, Noumea enjoys a magnificent natural setting. The town shelters some exceptional biodiversity, thanks especially to the coastal mangroves. To feel the town’s heartbeat, you can mosey in the place des Cocotiers, where Noumeans love to gather. The Tjibaou cultural centre unveils the secrets of the kanak culture. As for the Hagen castle or the maison Célières, these are precious witnesses of a colonial past. But Noumea is also about sumptuous beaches.
Aboard your Zodiac® dinghy, you will sail along the turquoise waters of New Caledonia’s coral reef, the second largest in the world. When you land on Kouare Island, in the heart of the southern lagoon, you will discover an idyllic environment. On this small tract of uninhabited land, in a marine area listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the animals rule supreme. From the white-sand beaches where marine turtles and sea snakes like to lay their eggs, take off with your mask and snorkel to discover an abundant underwater world that is home to multicoloured fish, beautiful coral, and marine reptiles. Look up to the sky and admire the incessant ballet of terns and black noddies that appear to be jealously guarding their island.
Secluded and wild, Maré Island, located in New Caledonia, is the southernmost of the Loyalty Islands group. You will see unusual cut-out reliefs sculpted by time: here, old coral reefs transformed into impressive cliffs plunge into the ocean; there, the turquoise waters of peaceful lagoons lap on white sand beaches, rimmed with coconut palms and Cook pines. Inland, a central plateau shelters numerous caves and water “holes”. Maré Island is also known as “ the market garden of New Caledonia”. Don’t forget to eat the island’s succulent avocados.
You’ll land around 100km east of Grande-Terre. An ancient coral atoll atop a collapsed volcano, Lifou is today the largest and highest of the Loyalty Islands. This is an outstanding natural site, waiting to be explored: to the north, the coastline ends abruptly in sheer cliffs, while to the south lie expanses of long white sand beaches. Lovers of wild plantlife may well be tempted by a walk further inland, where the rich and authentic Kanak culture is proudly upheld by the local community.
The cradle of the Kanak culture, Hienghène is one of New Caledonia’s most emblematic communes. Located on the country’s east coast on the edge of the lagoon listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, it offers visitors magnificent landscapes including black limestone rocks, spectacular waterfalls, and prolific vegetation. In the ocean, fans of scuba diving will marvel at the unique biodiversity to be found on the Caledonian seabed. On land there is plenty to see too, including the surprising Linderalique cliffs that rise majestically from the water, as well as the must-see rock formations known as the “Poule Couveuse” (brooding hen) and the Sphinx, at the entrance to Hienghène Bay.
Port-Bouquet Bay is located to the south-east of the main island of New Caledonia, a remote region more well-known as the “Lost Coast”. Let yourself fall under the spell of this wild coast with its exceptional panoramas. Its chiselled coast, between ochre rocks and lush vegetation, appears alongside the subtle tones offered by the Coral Sea. You’ll be able to visit the small village of Saint-Roch, perched on the side of deep ravine overlooking the islands of Nemou and Toupeti, where you will be welcomed in the traditional manner by the inhabitants. You’ll also be able to make the most of the beach to relax, swim or snorkel among the coral reefs of the island of Nemou.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
This unspoilt South Pacific island lies off Australia's east coast. The choice is yours: relax on its deserted beaches or dive among the multi-coloured fish and corals of Emily Bay lagoon. Norfolk Island National Park is the place to see parrots hidden under the araucaria branches and tree-ferns. The lookout perched at the top of Mount Pitt offers you a 360-degree panorama of sparkling coastline. Discover more about the island's turbulent history at the Norfolk Island Museum in Kingston, one of Australia's oldest towns.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
On the east coast of the North Island, the Bay of Islands promises an incredible journey into the origins of the land of the long white cloud. Russell, the first harbour city founded in New Zealand by Europeans, is your entry-point into this corner of paradise. Among whitewashed houses and gorgeous gardens, Russell offers a gentle, romantic atmosphere. A few traces of its past remain, such as Christ Church, the oldest church in the country. Shimmering waters highly prized by local fishermen, beautiful beaches and wild nature make visiting this New Zealand town a picture postcard experience.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as "the City of Sails" when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Superior Stateroom

$9,440 AUD pp
Superior Stateroom
(226 sq.ft.) 8 superior staterooms of 226 sq.ft.located on Deck 3. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line, telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

DeLuxe Stateroom

$10,300 AUD pp
DeLuxe Stateroom
(200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony), 28 Deluxe Staterooms of 200 sq.ft.with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4

$11,540 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5

$12,160 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6

$12,900 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Deluxe Suite

$18,320 AUD pp
Deluxe Suite
(290 sq.ft. + 54 sq.ft. private balcony), On Deck 6 you will find 3 Deluxe Suites with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 5

$25,100 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 5
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 6

$26,460 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 6
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Owner’s Suite

$30,540 AUD pp
Owner’s Suite
(484 sq.ft + 97 sq.ft. private balcony). The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6. It has been decorated by Franch interior designers and will provide you a breathtakting panoramic sea view. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Bathtub or shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Large bathtub, Sofa, Table with 4 chairs, Armchair & Pedestal table

Additional charges:

Port Charges. From: 740 AUD pp

Le Soleal

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 142 metres

Passenger Capacity: 264

Built: 2013

Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white.

A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Cabin layout for Le Soleal

Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus

Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus. Prices online do not show the discounted rates. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverages included (Excluding Premium Brands)
• Free wifi (Subject to coverage)

Exclusions


• Flights other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Premium beverages package (Can be purchased on board)
• Optional Excursions where applicable
• Spa treatments on board
• Pre and post cruise accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Transfers unless specified
• Gratuities
Le Soleal
Melanesia Luxury ExpeditionLuxury Expedition
11 Days from
$9,440 AUD pp

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